I know where I was two years ago.
I was here. In Jersey. I was working at a plastic compounding plant as the Plant Manager. I was not overly fond of the job but it paid and I was optimistic that I would grow to like the place. I was 310 pounds or somewhere around that.
I was trying to figure out the holiday schedule and I was trying to figure out if I had any nice clothes that fit so I would have something to wear to our friend’s Christmas Eve party in five days.
I was not thinking that in eight days I would finally reach that place where I would finally do something about my weight and my lack of fitness.
I didn’t know that in eight days I would start the Journey.
I am thinking about this a great deal this week. I am counting down in my head to the two-year mark. Two years from the day that I woke up and told Missus “I am starting today”.
I will write more about my thoughts as I approach that day.
Last night at the Bike Shop Holiday Party the shop owner, BP, asked us to share our cycling goals for the coming year. He told us they had to be Specific and Measurable. Each of us had something we wanted to do. Return to racing, compete in a triathlon…. KF had the best one. She simply wants to ride again. She had a serious accident and returning to the bike is a worthy goal and one none of us is foolish enough to think is out of reach for the woman we call Fury.
As the question worked its way around the table I had plenty of time to contemplate my answer. I had goals in mind. I know what I want to accomplish in the coming cycling season. How to put it to words…
Because I was sitting just two places from BP and the question started in the other direction, I had plenty of time to think, as I would answer next to last. When it came to me I made one little joke and then I stated my goals. Thirty-five hundred miles and at least one Century.
Those are my goals.
My cycling goals.
On the grander scale my goals are to get to and maintain 195 pounds. I want to see two years at or below my goal weight in August 2014.
In business we say goals have to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
I think mine are all that.
There is one other goal. It isn’t really Specific and I am not sure how I would measure it. I certainly hope it is achievable. I know it is relevant and I hope it will be timely. I want to be more comfortable being me.
That is my life goal.
The Right Decision
I started working at the bike shop in late May of this year. I needed a second job and the income that would come with it. The owner and manager at the shop both thought I would be a good fit. I love bikes. I am personable. I have a good story to tell. Everything else would come, they assured me.
I sold a bike my first day. I sold three the next. I have sold many bikes since. Customers come in looking for me. I enjoy the interaction. I love putting someone on a new bike and seeing the smile on their face as they roll it out the door and take it home.
It goes well beyond that. It is the group of people I work with. At the Shop Holiday Party last night I realized just how much I enjoy the company of the people I work with at the shop. The diverse personalities united in a shared love of cycling and all things bicycles. The easy humor. The laughter. The conversations. About Bikes. About Cars. About plans and rides and goals.
It is the shared enjoyment of seeing a coworker take his new bike out for the first time. It is, for me, almost a sense of family.
I take an odd pleasure at being the “old man” of the shop (though the owner is only a few months younger than I am). I enjoy the “kids”. I learn from them every day that I work and every ride I am on with them.
Today I was the coworker taking home his new bike. The grin on my face was matched only by the smiles on the faces of my friends and coworkers at the shop.
BP made this happen for me. He worked with me and made this bike a reality for me.
Much more than the bike.
I have not always made great decisions. We all make mistakes in our lives. I look back at the decision to leave the plastics compounding plant and I know I made a mistake. I thought I was doing the right thing. It didn’t work out.
I know I made the right decision when I asked BP and NP if they would be interested in hiring me for weekends at the shop.
I know that a good portion of why I have stayed fit and kept the weight off is the shop rides and more than that, the encouragement from the people at the shop. From the occasional kick in the head from CB for my occasional self-doubt, to the critical bits of advice from BP as we ride, to the challenge from KE, JS and NP to ride harder, rider further and rider faster…. This has been the right decision.